Empowering Global Citizens

Los Angeles School of Global Studies (LASGS) opened in 2006. The school joined the New Tech Network with what was then only 42 innovative schools scattered across the country. Twelve years later, LASGS is part of a network of almost 200 schools and has continued to pioneer education innovation.

The school is co-located on the Miguel Contreras Learning Campus and has Design, Media, and Social Change pathways for students in grades 9-12. Christian Quintero graduated from the London School of Economics and received his Masters degree from the school of Education at UCLA. He joined LASGS as a founding teacher and later became principal in 2012.

We reached out to Principal Quintero to find out more about how he defines teacher and student learning goals, keeps his staff connected to the mission of the school, and sustains their culture of innovation.

Our mission is to empower our students to spark change locally, nationally, and globally. Our students are advocates, they are making our world a better place.

I left a huge school of over 5,000 students. We had over 200 teachers with a culture of low expectations. I knew students deserved a chance at success. I felt invisible and knew the students I was teaching felt invisible and I knew I wanted more for the students and the teachers.


I was lucky to be one of the eight teachers chosen to open LASGS. We spent a week of intense training with New Tech Network on project-based learning (PBL), technology and above all, culture. 

As new teachers, we shared a mission and were excited about the creativity and the promise of student engagement with the New Tech design.

I believe the culture we established at the first New Tech training, one that values all voices and allows for teacher autonomy, has carried us through the years. It is the cornerstone that keeps us going.

Every day at Los Angeles School of Global Studies, I am inspired by the effort of our staff and students to create a rigorous and thoughtful environment for learning.  We are a small school that encourages all members of our school community, from students, parents, and staff, to take on the daily challenges of life and academics and to continually strive to reach our vision of success for our school community.

When students come into our schools, they come in as global citizens, they learn PBL, how to work with teams, how to use Echo, and technology. In their sophomore year, students show us that they are ready to become global leaders. They begin to direct their own learning, they think about their future and they take on more leadership.

By 12th grade, students present evidence on how they have grown in the six LASGS Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Thinking, Oral, Visual and Written Communication, Collaboration, and Agency. They become global ambassadors. They are change agents not only for themselves, but for the community, their families, and their district.

I am often asked what the secret is to sustainability. Keeping connected with New Tech is key. We have to connect with other educators who share the vision of possibility. Project-based learning and our work with New Tech Network has allowed us to break away from the standards and to realize an unlimited potential for every student.

"Our mission is to empower our students to spark change locally, nationally, and globally. Our students are advocates, they are making our world a better place."
Christian Quintero
Principal, Los Angeles School of Global Studies